Australia

The documentary film Stolen is now largely discredited. It has been in the press recently for its controversial claim that slavery still exists among Saharawis in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.
The July 14 Age reported on unoccupied “ghost mansions” in the well-heeled Melbourne suburb of Toorak. These million-dollar houses have been bought by wealthy landowners and left unoccupied – in some cases for decades.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sent the open letter below to Melbourne International Film Festival on July 5.
About 5000 people turned out for the government-organised Harmony Day march through Melbourne on July 12.
PERTH: Thirty people rallied against a proposed new gas plant on July 10 outside the Perth Offices of Chevron and Shell. The protest was organised by the Wilderness Society. The two companies are considering joining a proposed joint venture development with fellow-fossil fuel companies Woodside, BHP Billiton and BP for a gas processing (LNG) industrial hub at James Price Point, 50 km north of Broome, in the Kimberly.
June 28 was the anniversary of the two bookends of World War I, in which it is estimated more than 15 million people died. On that date in 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. Five years later, in 1919, 90 years ago this year, the Versailles Treaty was signed in Paris.
July 7 proved to be an excellent day for the Australian business community. Citing the economic downturn as a key factor in his decision, Fair Pay Commissioner Ian Harper announced that there will be no increase the minimum wage.
Five hundred people rallied and marched on July 10 in Melbourne to celebrate NAIDOC week. The theme of NAIDOC 2009 was Honouring Our Elders, Nurturing Our Youth.
Public broadcaster ABC has entered into a controversial joint venture with Australia’s largest regional commercial television network, WIN TV, to run the ABC’s master control centre to send out television and radio signals. WIN TV’s transmission spans the largest geographical area in the world, reaching more than 5.2 million viewers across Australia.
Indigenous Affairs minister Jenny Macklin was advised by her department against formally consulting with Aboriginal people over the compulsory acquisition of their land because it would be too expensive, tie up too many resources, and was unlikely to get the outcome the government wanted, leaked documents reveal.

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